THE SKYE PROJECT
The Start Up Kashmir Youth Entrepreneur Development Project
Enabling Effective Youth Entrepreneurship
In October 2010, Mercy Corps launched the Start Up Kashmir Youth Entrepreneur (SKYE) Development Project.
Funded by the Scottish Government’s South Asia Development Programme, the 30-month SKYE Project seeks to help build and catalyze a youth focused start-up ecosystem in Kashmir. The SKYE Project will deliver an integrated and targeted response to specific set of barriers all set to the business-enabling environment of the lack of specific initiatives, expertise, skill and coordinations that impedes youth entrepreneurship in Kashmir. SKYE will ultimately foster the growth of 200 youth enterprises across the Kashmir Valley and will launch a regional “Start-up Kashmir” network for young entrepreneurs. Additionally, the project will work to build capacities, raise awareness and understanding between the various stakeholders who contribute to youth entrepreneurship in Kashmir, including the local government, colleges and universities, business associagtion and financial instiutions, and enterpreneureship and vocational traning institutes.
Overall Aim: Reduce poverty and foster inclusive economic growth through increased youth entrepreneurship in the Kashmir Valley.
Specific Objective: To reduce barriers, improve support and strengthen a culture of youth entrepreneurship that stimulates the start up and growth of 200 youth enterprises across the 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley.
Catalyze a cross-sector network to foster knowledge sharing, cooperation and institutional capacities to improve the business-enabling environment for youth enterprises.
Engage youth to increase awareness and improve attitudes towards business and entrepreneurship.
Provide opportunities to aspiring youth entrepreneurs (including women and young people from rural areas) to improve their business knowledge and skills and provide them with tangible support to start and grow their enterprises.
The SKYE Approach
As a research lens and action strategy, the SKYE project has adopted a holistic approach that is market-based and addresses five factors that are crucial to boosting youth enterpreneureship in the Kashmir valley
- Social/Cultural Legitimacy & Acceptance
- Entrepreneurship Education & Training
- Business Assistance & Support
- Access to Finance
- Administrative and Regulatory Framework